Stumbling through the web before Christmas, Clash was lured into intrigue by a music forum wag who had posted a delicious musical equation to introduce a new band to the hordes. It said simply: “Múm meets Mew meets M83 =”…
Pretty damn alluring, huh? Sounds like a bag of dreams hovering skyward to our ears. The equation resulted in the discovery of The Deer Tracks, and a finer equation you are unlikely to discover this year.
The Deer Tracks are a Swedish duo, comprising the Anthony Hegarty/Alex DeLarge frame of David Lehnberg and the Katie ‘Ting Ting’ White meets Coco-Rosie amalgamation of Elin Lindfors. They are scintillating to just look at, let alone listen to. Borne out of the backward city of Gävle, a cold shipping city noted predominantly for its giant model of a straw goat (one that is torched on an almost yearly basis) that sits upon the Castle Square, David and Elin repeatedly bumped into each at gigs and parties through mutual friends, before deciding that their shared cultural passions were better spent making sweet, sweet music together.
“In the spring of 2006, Elin moved to London for a couple of months, wandering through Regents Park and endlessly listening to my basic demo ideas and sketches,” recalls David. “Even though we were in different countries, we started to create and visualise the foundations for The Deer Tracks. When Elin returned to Sweden, we recorded ‘Aurora’ in my homemade studio that we call Jesus Lo-Tech as it’s hidden in the cellar of a small church. It was done on a low, low budget.”
Inspired as much by the intense stare and beauty of the deer as they are by the magic chime of soothing electronics, the album came together quickly. The pair weren’t used to writing songs together, and David recalls the experience with typically obtuse imagery. “We started these songs like tiny houses full of skeletal frames and built them into shiny castles by applying our worlds into someone else’s fragmented stories. They are about Elin and myself telling different views on a subject in a unified way.” Consequently, ‘Aurora’ is a difficult record to understand in simple explanation but, as it unravels, David’s imagery is justifiably vivid.
Amongst that swirling wall of sound, The Deer Tracks introduce a veritable trove of instrumentation: electric guitars, melodica, trumpet, clarinet, keyboards, synthesizers, glockenspiel and music-boxes, along with assorted percussion and what David describes as “junk toys”.
It is a sound that has justifiably whipped the European bloggers into a frenzy of excitement. The much-respected Hype Machine had the duo in last summer’s Top 20 chart, finding them ahead of Beck, TV On The Radio and CSS, all of whom were busy with new material of their own. It is a buzz that is keenly spreading westwards.
Musical equations are quite the step forward to the ultimate description, almost a short review of Twitter-like inventiveness. Regardless, simplification of The Deer Tracks should lead you to only one conclusion: The Deer Tracks are majestic, and ‘Aurora’ is an electronic experience of quite epic proportions.